Chant Trip to Quarr Abbey & St Cecilia’s

I have just got back from two wonderful days spent on the Isle of Wight with the Gregorian chant choir of St James’s, Spanish Place.

We were very fortunate to be allowed to sing at Mass for Our Lady’s Saturday in the imposing Abbey church. Conveniently, we sang the same propers as last weekend at the LMS Pilgrimage to West Grinstead but this time the Mass was in the Ordinary Form.  Unfortunately, I rarely have the opportunity to attend Latin Ordinary Form Masses and l am a bit shaky at the responses. I mumbled through the Confiteor pretending I could remember what I was supposed to say.

We were received with a great welcome from the choirmaster Brother Duncan.


Some of the Monks even joined us to sing at Mass, another great honour.

The men sat in choir on one side, and the women sat on the other side. We alternated singing in the Kyrie and the hymn at the Offertory Te Laudamus.

In the afternoon, the group moved to St Cecilia’s in Ryde. We spent an hour in the parlour at the convent with the choirmistress Sister Bernadette who armed us with useful tips for singing the sequence and the Communion proper for Pentecost. If you want to know why singing a Quilisma is like stepping over a puddle, head to Leutgeb’s site  to find out why.

We finished the day listening to the heavenly sound of the Sisters singing Vespers.

Thanks to Candy, the chant choir director at St James’s for organising such a wonderful couple of days and thanks to Quarr and St Cecilia’s for their unremitting hospitality.



More photos on FLICKR – lots of pigs!


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